City's history tour gaining momentum

City's past is only a scan away with History Tour.

A program that launched back in May is growing in usage. The Traverse City History Center put up quick response -- or QR codes -- around town as part of a history tour.

To use the system, all you have to do is scan the QR code with a mobile device. That will send you to the tour program you can download. Once youâ??re into the program, all kinds of information is available, including an audio guide and pictures showcasing the history of the location.

Both residents and visitors agree the app is helpful. â??I think that would add another layer of information for wherever youâ??re visiting,â?? said Christopher Lohman, visiting Traverse City from Ohio. â??An app like that would be very useful for someone like me.â??

The History Center says the amount of use it's getting so far is good, especially considering there hasn't been a whole lot of advertisement. So far theyâ??ve been using stickers and lawn signs to spread the word.

7&4 News is told that nearly a hundred people are using the QR codes every day, and just last week, the program had its highest usage with more than 200 people checking it out. The average user is spending about six minutes looking through the information, browsing nearly 30 pages.

There are nine locations within the program: Straub Bros and Amiotte Candy Factory, City Opera House, Clinch Park, State Theatre, Park Place Hotel, Cary Hull House, Perry Hannah House, Carnegie Library, and Building 50-State Hospital.

â??You could theoretically visit all nine sites within a half hour. It wouldn't be a quality visit, but you could cover that amount of territory,â?? said Bill Kennis, Executive Director of the Traverse City History Center.

The center hopes to expand the number of sites by Labor Day, more than doubling the information available. â??We do envision the whole region including Leland, Fish Town, and Old Mission Peninsula where Traverse City began. All of these sites that are sometimes remote to visitors, they'll be able to access it through this tour.â??

Kennis says the unique approach to history is what sets it apart. â??Itâ??s important to give people history the way they want it. They don't visit brick and mortar museums like they used to. So you happen upon a really cool structure and want to know about it and want that information now.â??

â??If I came across it, Iâ??d probably scan it,â?? said Mollie Jamrog who lives in the city. â??It would be cool, just knowing more about where I live, the history of it.â??

The Pure Michigan campaign is planning on showcasing the Traverse City history tour in the near future because of its statewide involvement. A Michigan company worked to create the program that is now helping Michigan tourists.